Last week Walgreen's had a very generous sale on Maybelline products. Usually I opt out of BOGO 1/2 off because I feel it's not that great of a deal (BOGO Free is good, if I want even numbers of items), but when there is just x% off I tend to jump at the chance to partake in a good deal...it's got to be at least 40% though because less than that and it's gotta be something I really really wanted and not something I am trying out. Also I know how I am and I know I'll reach for my high end or mid range makeup items much more often than my drugstore items, so I don't want to pay too much for drugstore items.
In the case of these products they were things I heard were nice and just wanted to try out! I am very glad I did too, they are all very nice products for drugstore brands! I had heard the Maybelline EyeStudio collections were very similar to Japanese eyeshadows, especially the Color Explosion line (which happens to be my favorite). Now, I haven't gotten any Japanese eyeshadows myself because I am not really big on eyeshadow and so I couldn't justify the price...however at the price of these Maybelline shadows I didn't mind at all! I am glad I can experience the Japanese formula, even though it's not truly from Japan.
My favorite products out of the bunch are the EyeStudio Color Explosion eyeshadow quints (more like quads when you take into consideration the pan at the top that is pure glitter), silky smooth, pigmented and long lasting (over primer, I never wear eyeshadow without it). It's a little hard to get your method of application into the "liner" pan (the darkest colors that is the thin V under the glitter), but it's not too bad. Other than that really no complaints...my favorite out of the 2 I got is Caffeine Rush because it's the most useful for me as I gravitate more towards neutrals on a daily basis, and generally when I wear brighter colors it's just on the outside corners of my eyes with a neutral on the whole lid.
All the Color Explosion palettes are very shimmery, but not really over the top unless you use the glitter as a wash. They had very minimal fall out, which was impressive. There are only 5 sets out right now and I really hope they make more, in more muted colors, so I can get some more...even the pink which doesn't seem as bright as the others is too bright for me to use on it's own.
My second favorite item is the blush I picked up from the new Fall 2011 collection, Ravishing Rouge, which is a gorgeous brick red with minimal shimmer. It's supposed to be a dupe of the red Chanel, which is pretty but I knew I wouldn't use this color much so at that price that would have been insane. At $4ish after the 40% discount it was the right price to have just to have, or if I feel like experimenting. It's VERY VERY pigmented, so it's pretty hard to apply, you really have to use the tiniest amount and even then you will probably have to cover a bit with a translucent powder to tame it.
Lastly I'd heard that the EyeStudio Color Plush Silk Eyeshadows were also nice and similar to Japanese eyeshadows, I don't know if the one I got (Strut it Suede) is just subpar or what but I just didn't like it as much as the Color Explosion series. Also the glittery shades were just a bit too glittery for me...it was still leagues above most drugstore eyeshadows though, in my opinion. Very silky and soft, just like the name illustrates :).
I guess out of all of these though my only MUST HAVE item is the Color Explosion in Caffeine Rush quint. The other items are all nice too though, and I can absolutely recommend them if they tickle your fancy!
Maybelline EyeStudio Color Explosion in Pink Punch (in dusky sunlight & direct LED light)
Maybelline EyeStudio Color Plush Silk Eyeshadow in Strut it Suede (in direct LED light)
Maybelline EyeStudio Color Explosion in Caffeine Rush (in direct and indirect LED light)
Maybelline Blush in Ravishing Rouge (in 'normal' bulb light)